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Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that allows content creators to designate how they want to exercise their intellectual property rights, primarily online.

Creative Commons was founded in 2001 by a group of law and intellectual property experts that included Lawrence Lessig, Hal Abelson, Eric Eldred, and Eric Saltzman as an alternative to the “all rights reserved” copyright model, which would allow more works to be used in the public domain.

It received initial support from the Center for the Public Domain and Stanford Center for Internet and Society, and has been funded by a variety of foundations, individual donations and government grants, including the MacArthur Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Omidyar Network.

Under Creative Commons licenses, creators can dictate whether their works can be used for commercial purposes, to create derivative works or by entities that abide by similar licensing arrangements. All Creative Commons licenses require attribution of the original author.

Numerous news organizations have used Creative Commons licenses to allow their content to be distributed, including GateHouse Media, the BBC, the Tribune Co. and Spot.Us. The Knight Foundation requires all of its News Challenge winners to make their work available via Creative Commons.

Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
March 5, 2014 / Joshua Benton
Getty Images blows the web’s mind by setting 35 million photos free (with conditions, of course) — Hey, look, it’s some boiled crawfish: And the great Creole fiddler Cedric Watson: And a stock photo of a professor in a classroom: And Walter Lippmann lecturing in 1952: Those photos are all from the esteemed Getty...
July 10, 2013 / Joshua Benton
Instagram embeds are here, but not quite perfect for publishers — No more need for hacky workarounds or third-party solutions to put an Instagram photo or video on your website, we’re told: Now, when you visit an Instagram photo or video page on your desktop web browser, you’ll...
Dec. 13, 2012 / Richard Tofel and Scott Klein
ProPublica: Why we use Creative Commons licenses on our stories — As the pro-sharing license celebrates its 10th birthday, the nonprofit outlet says encouraging republication has meant more than 4 million extra pageviews on its stories so far this year....
Sept. 17, 2012 / Nikki Usher and Seth C. Lewis
Four reasons why an open-source newsroom is harder than it looks: Lessons from Al Jazeera — Open-source may be hip, but an awful lot of cultural baggage can get in the way of newsrooms adopting it. ...
Sept. 11, 2012 / Dan Kennedy
How a 19-year-old student became one of the hottest political photographers in the country — Gage Skidmore is probably behind some of the photos of Republican politicians you've seen online. He shoots for credit, not for money....

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Megan Garber. Main text last updated: May 11, 2011.
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Gotham Gazette is an nonprofit online news organization that covers city and state government in New York City. The Gazette was founded in 1999 by the Citizens Union Foundation, making it one of the nation’s oldest local online-only startups. It receives funding through advertising and various foundations and donations, and has a full-time staff of…

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